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Are PDO Thread Lifts Safe?

Polydioxanone (PDO) thread lifts are a type of procedure where sutures tighten areas of the skin. They’re minimally invasive and are one of the most popular cosmetic treatments today. Since it helps people appear more youthful without plastic surgery, more adults are curious about getting a thread lift.

So are there any harmful effects to getting a PDO thread lift? There are instances when inflammation, nausea, infection, and minor bruising can develop after a procedure. However, these are very rare. It helps to ask a trusted clinic to learn more about PDO thread lifts and assess if this procedure fits your needs.

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PDO Threads are Safe and Approved

PDO thread lifts are proven safe, with the Food and Drug Administration giving the procedure a Class II medical certificate. This certificate is on par with most medical equipment, such as powered wheelchairs and selected blood and urine test kits. The certification ensures that authorities allow trained specialists to deliver the procedure to willing patients.

Thousands of people have undergone the procedure, with few reports about thread defects. Only a tiny percentage reported adverse reactions or other side effects. Most patients note that any pain or discomfort during the procedure is very minimal. For faster recovery, your medical history will be assessed and precautions will be given to you as well.

PDO Threads are Minimally Invasive

While PDO thread lifts involve sutures, the procedures are generally painless. The operation is an alternative to facelift surgery, which requires incisions.

For thread lifts, the placement of sutures varies per person, with some body parts needing just a single suture, while others can go as high as 50 threads. It also depends on the purpose of the procedure, whether it’s for loose skin or rejuvenation. The locations for each thread depend on the person’s face shape and chief complaints.

Even if the procedure is harmless, doctors advise patients to take a few precautions before starting the procedure. These include:

  • Avoiding makeup. The face must be clear of any cosmetics to ensure safety and efficiency. These products may contain chemicals that interact with absorbable sutures, which can cause side effects.
  • Avoid taking vitamins and supplements 24 hours before the procedure. Some supplements, such as Omega-3 fish oil, Ginkgo Biloba, and Vitamin C, may increase the likelihood of bruising.
  • Make sure you don’t have any infections. The suturing process will interact with any active skin infections. These include cold sores and pimples. Colds, coughs, and sore throats may also interfere with the procedure.

Doctors apply a local anesthetic to numb the area and make the stitches pain-free. The threads used include a thread and a thin tube. The specialist removes the tube once the sutures are firmly in place. If used to reposition the skin, there will be an excess thread at the end of each suture. The doctor will cut these down once the desired effect is visible.

The type of thread used depends on the following:

  • Skin type
  • Skin texture
  • Patient’s desired outcomes

The number of sutures depends on the area of the body. Some thread types work better for skin tightening, lifting, and anti-aging. After each treatment, patients will need to avoid getting dental treatments. Patients should avoid activities that require opening the mouth for extended periods since they can interfere with the effects of the thread lift.

Although the local anesthetic does the job of numbing the area, some patients will feel slight pain and tenderness a few hours after the procedure. The pain usually disappears after a few days have passed. To avoid putting pressure on the area, sleeping on the back is advised for patients. Sleeping on the side can place stress on the sutures, making bruising or inflammation worse.

Despite the effects not being permanent, PDO thread lifts produce longer-lasting results than other similar treatments. By comparison, dermal fillers only last for a couple of months after every session. For electrolysis, collagen production will recur throughout the following year after the procedure.

Most people need to get repeat lifts after a year, which is a longer interval than some other treatments. Repeat sessions are typical for minimally invasive procedures, unlike operations like plastic surgery, which happen within a day. However, surgery is much more invasive and painful.

Side Effects of a PDO Thread Lift

side effect of pdo thread lift

Although a minimally invasive procedure, there are instances when side effects could arise from a PDO thread lift. Most professionals recommend that patients avoid alcohol and nicotine before the scheduled treatment. These chemicals may cause skin dehydration and make the procedure more painful.


Inflammation is usually visible after a PDO thread lift. Patients may feel swelling, bruising, and tenderness for 1 to 2 days. Rubbing or touching the face may also irritate the area further since these could displace the sutures. Other activities, such as smoking and straw drinking, should also be reduced for the first few weeks post-thread lift.

Similarly, patients should avoid putting on facial creams and makeup for the first two weeks. These products may cause further inflammation in the treated areas. Patients should also avoid chewing gum, as well as eating food that is difficult to chew. Patients should stick to soft food items for the first few weeks.

If there are any instances of inflammation, elevating the head helps lessen the pressure on the facial skin. Try to keep the head at an angle above the heart level. Keep this up for at least a week to avoid any damage.

Besides these, recovery from a PDO thread lift is minimal. You may experience some swelling and light bruising for the first day or two. If the pain does not subside after this time, consult your physician. Avoid self-medicating on painkillers such as Ibuprofen and Naproxen. These medications function by blood-thinning, which may affect your healing response.

If you can walk around after the first day, you can also return to most of your daily routines right away.


Although most hospital procedures will cause fatigue after the first few days, thread lift patients may also feel nausea. The urge to vomit comes from the local anesthetic, which usually subsides after a couple of hours. If you still feel nausea, sip only small amounts of water until it passes. Trying to drink too much water will worsen the urge to vomit.

To help ease nausea, patients should limit their facial motions for the first day after the procedure. While nausea may make it tempting to massage the jaw area, this can worsen the problem.


Doctors and specialists ensure that all items used in a procedure are sterile. However, there are instances when the treated area leads to infection. Signs of infection on the site include:

  • Redness
  • Elevated temperature
  • Excessive swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Pus drainage
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

If you feel the symptoms of an infection, contact your provider right away. Most doctors will ask you to take a course of antibiotics. Don’t attempt to self-medicate or mess around with the sutures. Doing so may exacerbate the issue.

Minor Bruising

Another side effect is bruising. These are usually minor but visible in the first few days. Bruises first appear in the first few hours after the procedure and may be accompanied by soreness and swelling. As with inflammation, avoid taking over-the-counter painkillers without your doctor’s approval. The blood-thinning components may lead to more adverse reactions.

Applying a cold compress is one of the most common home remedies. The cooling sensation helps relieve the soreness. Experts advise patients to apply a cold compress onto the affected area 4 to 5 times a day, with half an hour long for each duration. Patients should continue to apply the cold compress for the first 5 days post-procedure.

Dr. V Medical Aesthetics: A Trusted PDO Thread Lift Provider

doctors perform PDO Thread lift treatment on a woman

While PDO thread lifts are generally safe, it’s best to go with a provider with long experience in cosmetic procedures. Finding an approved and awarded med spa may seem complicated. But Dr. V Medical Aesthetics has a qualified team of professionals who can provide you with the gold standard for a thread lift experience.

Dr. V Medical Aesthetics has a long history of working alongside patients to achieve their desired looks. Our med spa specializes in non-surgical treatments, which allow clients to feel and look good without any invasive surgical facelifts. We offer Botox injections, dermal fillers, hair restoration, and PDO thread lifts. The clinic uses only the best and most advanced treatments to help you get safe and quality results.

Book a session with us today and let’s talk about your aesthetic goals.


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